May 13, 2011 9:22:00 AM
Mississippi State Director of Track & Field Al Schmidt was hospitalized Thursday in Athens, Ga., after becoming ill during the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
A team spokesman confirmed Schmidt, who coached MSU''s men''s and women''s teams for 22 years, is in stable condition and undergoing tests.
---(UPDATED) A team spokesman said Friday morning Schmidt suffered a cardiac arrest.
"He did receive two shocks from an AED at the track, but he was alert and communicating as he was transported to the hospital, where he received a cardiac catheterization. Today, doctors will insert an AICD (Automatic, ,Implantable, Cardioverter-Defibrillator) and continue to monitor him and review all the test he has undergone," the released stated.
Schmidt is recovering at the Athens Regional Medical Center, where he is likely to have bypass surgery on Monday.
Schmidt is in his first year as MSU''s Director of Track & Field, a position that was created at the end of last season. Longtime assistant Steve Dudley took over as head coach.
Schmidt produced more than 40 All-Americans and more than 30 SEC champions in his 22 seasons as MSU''s track coach. He coached seven All-Americans last season and led the Bulldogs to their seventh top-25 finish in the past nine years. MSU finished seventh at the SEC Championships and 17th at the NCAA Championships.
With the completion of the $3.2 million renovation of the Carl Maddox Track Facility, Schmidt oversaw the Bulldogs'' first home track meets in four years with the return of the Jace Lacoste Invitational and the start of the Bulldog Twilight Invitational.
Schmidt''s efforts to bring a national-level meet to Starkville resulted in the first SEC vs. Big Ten Challenge, which pitted four SEC teams against four Big Ten teams March 26.
""We feel surrounded with love with the outpouring of support from the Mississippi State family of coaches, staff, student-athletes and alumni," Schmidt''s wife, Jessie, said. "We are also very grateful to the University of Georgia Sports Medicine staff and the staff at the Athens Regional Medical Center for the care they provided."
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